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Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson partners with Memorial Blood Centers to tackle sickle cell disease

Erin Henderson of the Minnesota Vikings is joining Memorial Blood Centers in celebrating September as Sickle Cell Awareness Month with a special appeal to potential sickle cell negative blood donors to step up and make a difference in the life of someone battling the pain of this chronic disease.

Each year, about 1 in every 500 African-American infants are born with sickle cell—an inherited red blood cell disorder that also affects other populations, including people from the Middle East, Greece, Italy, Latin America, and India. Regular blood transfusions are a major component of treatment for the agonizing pain that often results when a life-threatening episode occurs.

For Rae Blaylark, advocate for sickle cell disease and Memorial Blood Centers, the battle against this painful and sometimes debilitating disease is personal. “From the day my son, Treyvon, was diagnosed as a newborn, both my work and my advocacy have been driven by my passion,” she says with pride. “As many of us know, every two seconds someone needs blood. To me this isn’t just a number. It hits right to my heart because my son, Trey, is someone who continues to be sustained by the generosity of volunteer blood donors.”

Step up to donate blood at one of the following community blood drives, and ask if you may be eligible to join our Sickle Cell Donor Program to further help those battling sickle cell disease in our community.

Schedule a blood donation:

Friday, 9/6/13 - North Memorial Medical Center
Wednesday, 9/11/13 - IDS Crystal Court
Tuesday, 9/17/13 - Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
Thursday, 9/26/13 - Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church / Church of St. Patrick

Watch Trey's story now